HeroQuest: 6 Player Mod

Full, printable rules are available in this downloadable zip file.

I’m a big fan of home-brew rules, and last year I was faced with a challenge that I simply couldn’t resist. My older brother was putting together an intermittent HeroQuest campaign and invited me to oversee things as Zargon (a dumbed down dungeon master, for what is essentially a board game version of Dungeons and Dragons). I used to play the hell out of HQ when I was younger so I eagerly jumped at the opportunity to re-enter the “world of magic” to do some “high adventuring.”

The problem? There were a total of six people vying to participate in the campaign and HeroQuest has a hard cap of five players. In addition to Zargon, the game assigns four hero roles: the mighty Barbarian, the stalwart Dwarf, the spell-flinging Wizard, and the slightly less magical but still rather enchanted Elf. There simply aren’t enough fantasy stereotypes to go around!

So step one was to create another hero; one that would allow another player to join in the game without creating too many redundant roles. After some thought I decided to go with a classic fantasy stereotype, the brave and pious Paladin.

paladin

The Paladin – much like the Elf – is a hybrid hero. He has enough body points and equipment access to be useful in a fight, but is restricted to attacking foes straight on. His general immobility is offset by a potent array of clerically-themed spells; ones that are designed to aid allies and smite undead foes.

paladinspells

The Paladin’s spells are designed to be powerful but very situational. With such a small selection of spells with very specific functions, resource management is of utmost importance. During our first session, the Paladin was incredibly hesitant to unleash Turn Undead upon his foes. “What if the next room has MORE skeletons?” “These are just zombies, what if we run into some mummies?!” It was delightful to watch.

With our mighty hero completed, the next step was to give Zargon a bit more firepower to deal with the 25% influx of heroes. I decided that simply adding monsters with higher stats would be somewhat boring (and could be done on the fly anyways), so I instead opted to create a few new creatures to round things out a bit. The three that made the final cut were the Skeletal Archer, Orc Bowman, and Goblin Shaman.

newmonsters

These three mooks are variations on existing enemies but have new abilities and attack patterns. The Skeletal Archer and Orc Bowman give Zargon some ranged support; preventing endless crossbow bombardment from the heroes. The Goblin Shaman adds a non-boss, somewhat expendable spell-caster to the mix. I felt it was important to work some additional evil magicks into the game, both for flavour and challenge reasons. Since goblins aren’t tremendously bright, I just drew a Chaos Magic card randomly from the deck whenever a shaman went to cast a spell. Fun!

I’ve overseen two marathon sessions of HeroQuest with these rules and they seem to be a resounding success. The Paladin turned out to be a useful member of the team; often ranking higher than the Dwarf in terms of popularity! I look forward to future sessions, and seeing how the modified games holds up in later scenarios.

Feel free to use or adapt these rules for your own HeroQuest games. They’re a lot of fun! You can also check out Ye Olde Inn for more HQ resources and mods. I got all my card templates and fonts there, and it is truly a treasure trove for fans of the game. 

12 Comments

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  • Man, very nice additions and well-thought, it seems. Good job!!
    Would you mind telling me about the spells you added?

    • The spells I added were for the Paladin, and are embedded in the post above. I didn’t add any spells for the Goblin Shaman: I just use the Chaos spells provided by the core game.

  • The Paladin actually seems really OP to me. I don’t see much reason to pick the Elf or Dwarf over him. Giving him 3 defense dice and 7 body is too much in my opinion and makes him blatantly better than the other two.

    • I’ve run a few games with the Paladin, and I’d put him roughly on par with the Elf. He seems rather OP at first glance, but I’ve noticed that:

      1) Not having any sort of ranged attack really hurts, especially if you roll movement dice badly. This is exacerbated by the bow-wielding monsters listed above.

      2) Turn Undead and Purge are highly situational spells, and often don’t get used to their full potential.

      I’m not sure what to say about the Dwarf though. He was the fourth best character in the core game, and now he’s the fifth.

  • Nice! How about a half-vampire:
    Equipment: Longsword
    Atk: 3
    Def: 2
    Bdy: 5

    Gets 3 Vampire Spells that no other class may use:

    1 – Drain Essence:

    Target a non-undead monster; Inflict 2 points of Body Damage. The Monster rolls 1 red dice for each of their mind points and each 5 or 6 is a point defended. The Vampire regains the same number of body points as the monster lost (but no more than the amount the monster had).

    2 – Dominate Undead

    Target undead monster is dominated. The monster is no longer under Zargon’s control. At the end of the half-vampire’s turn, they may make the monster move and attack. The dominated monster immediately dies when the Half-Vampire leaves the quest.

    3 – Transformation

    The Half-Vampire transforms into a vampire bat. The next time the Half- Vampire moves, they can move with up to double the amount of their movement dice and may bypass monsters.

    • I like the flavour of this character. One of the great things about HeroQuest is that it is fairly rules-light, so adding on content is really easy to do.

      • I found out that a Half-Vampire is called a Dhampir, so there’s that.

        I haven’t used your paladin but I am using your custom monsters in my campaign (I’m Zargon). I’m finding that, after getting a large amount of gold and buying weapons and armour, the heroes are steamrolling through all the monsters. Mainly, it’s the Barbarian who is slaughtering every enemy, equipped with a helmet, heavy armour and battle axe. His weakness – the low mind points – have never come into play because there have been no magic-using enemies so far (we’re just finished quest 5). The Wizard on the other hand has died almost every quest.

        I’m hoping ranged weapons along with more magical enemies will not only make it more challenging but soften the power imbalance between the Barbarian and the others.

        What I will do is replace 1/2 of the skeletons with skeleton archers, 1/3 the orcs with orc archers and 1/3 of the goblins with goblin shamans and place them in strategically advantageous spots. I’ll let you know how that goes.

  • This is a very cool character, however the Hero card doesn’t seem to pull up for some reason. Can you re-post it? I’d love to download this for use.

    Also, do you have any fun art that you use for the backs of the Paladin Spell cards?

    Thanks!

    • Sorry if the download didn’t work, Spooky. I’ve added a .zip file download at the top of the blog post, which contains all three pieces of art.

      Art for the Paladin cards is a great idea! I’ve been getting a lot of hits on this blog post lately, so maybe I’ll make a “deluxe version” of the mod with additional art and resources.

By Michael